Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
November 2020 Newsletter
Photo credit: Cyane Gresham

Queries for Eleventh Month:  Education

Every month we link to one of the twelve groups of queries in PYM's Faith and Practice. These queries are taken from the new edition.  The query title link leads to a page on our own website where we can share our reflections on the queries. What rises in you in response to one of this month's queries: What help do we provide for the children and adults in our meeting to pursue their educational goals?  Follow the link in the section heading to share your thoughts on this query or others from this month.
Calendar (see below for more information on items marked with an asterisk; click here for the full Meeting calendar)
All events will take place online, except for Outdoor Meeting for Worship.  For committee meetings, contact the committee clerk for more information.
11/1/209:00 AM* Adult Class (The Mystery of Dying Well)
11/1/2010:30 AMMeeting for Worship
11/1/2011:00 AM* Children's Program (Beatitudes)
11/3/20 Election Day Voting @ CHFM
11/3/209:00 AM* Midweek Meeting for Worship
11/3/207:00 PMWorship & Ministry Committee
11/4/207:00 PM* Called Meeting for Worship
11/8/209:00 AM* Adult Class (Two Quaker Gardens)
11/8/2010:30 AMMeeting for Worship
11/8/2011:00 AM* Children's Program (Beatitudes)
11/8/202:00 PM* Memorial Meeting for John Bieniek
11/8/207:00 PM* Friendly Bible Study
11/10/209:00 AM* Midweek Meeting for Worship
11/11/207:00 PMFinance Committee
11/15/2010:30 AMMeeting for Worship
11/15/2011:00 AM* Children's Program
11/15/2012:15 PMMeeting for Business
11/17/209:00 AM* Midweek Meeting for Worship
11/22/2010:30 AM* Meeting for Worship
11/22/209:00 AM* PYM Giant Children's Meeting
11/22/2012:00 PM* Refugee Support Working Group
11/22/207:00 PM* Friendly Bible Studay
11/24/209:00 AM* Midweek Meeting for Worship
11/29/2010:30 AMMeeting for Worship
Sundays at CHFM

Link to Meeting for Worship, Sundays, 10:30 AM

Meeting for Worship continues to be held via Zoom.  This link will also continue to appear in weekly bulletins.
Meeting ID: 979 0132 0780
Password: CHFM2020

To call in by phone:
(646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 979 0132 0780
Password: 49622852

After-Meeting Announcements

To get an item included in the announcements after Meeting for Worship, please e-mail Worship & Ministry Committee with the details by Friday night. Be sure to include all relevant dates, times, and locations as well as the name of a contact person for more information.

From the Adult Religious Education Committee

The Adult RE Committee has put together a really wonderful set of classes for our Meeting and we urge you to set aside 9:00 AM on the first and second Sunday of the month for Adult RE via Zoom.   Descriptions of the November sessions are below.  The full list of classes for the Fall is on the Adult Class page, and an illustrated flier for inviting others is also available there for downloading.

Zoom details for November 1 are:
Meeting ID: 929 8303 3819
Passcode: 160830

(929) 436-2866
Meeting ID: 929 8303 3819
Passcode: 160830

Zoom links for November 8 will be sent out in the Thursday Bulletin next week. 
  • November 1:  The Mystery of Dying Well.  Dying is an emotional, social and spiritual challenge, not just a series of medical procedures to be left in the hands of clinicians. We can improve our chances of “dying well” by taking responsibility for this time and preparing for our end-of-life adventure. This means thinking practically about what we value and talking openly to those who want the best for us so they can help us achieve our goals. What’s exciting is that when we look to the border of life and death, we find beautiful mysteries that affirm the original visions of George Fox. We do, indeed, seem to be made of Light and to be made for Love. Presenter Gary Soulsman, who lives in Wilmington, DE, is a former co-clerk of the Friends Conference on Religion & Psychology, formed during WWII. He has facilitated dreams groups for more than 25 years, and since 2017 has taught a class on the Mysteries of Death & Dying at the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He is a retired journalist, having worked more than 35 years for a variety of publications in the state of Delaware. He has often written about religion..  Sponsored by the End of Life Working Group.  
  • November 8:  Two Quaker Gardens:  Chestnut Hill Meeting and Fair Hill.  In 6 years, Chestnut Hill Meeting has created a Landscape Committee, put in plantings and partly cleaned up this formerly abandoned lot.  The process has highlighted some of the challenges and rewards of gardening here, nestled between Fairmount Park and urban streets.  How do we rely on Quaker testimonies while also doing the hard work of healing the land?   Historic Fair Hill is a 300 year old, 5 acre Quaker burial ground in North Philadelphia where leaders of the abolition and early women's rights movements are buried. The grounds contain 30 varieties of trees, gardens and fruit orchards and are maintained with four other satellite gardens for zones of peace, community building and growing of fresh, healthy food.  Please join presenters Cyane Gresham, CHFM Landscape Committee, and Jean Warrington, Historic Fair Hill, for exploring and sharing stories of Quaker urban gardening.  Sponsored by the CHFM Landscape Committee.
The Committee is meeting in early December to plan classes for the Spring of 2021.  Please send your requests, ideas, and suggestions to

Outdoor Meeting for Worship

  • Watch the upcoming Thursday bulletins for information about upcoming Outdoor Meeting for Worship, which is held on the back lawn of the meetinghouse at 9 AM, in addition to our usual 10:30 am Zoom worship. This is limited to 25 people, and advance sign-up is required.  Please note these additional parameters:
    • No chairs from the meetinghouse will be available. Seating is bring-your-own chair (or blanket) and will be socially distanced. Household groups can sit together.  Friends will be able to use the bathrooms in the meetinghouse.
    • All attendees must wear a mask while on meeting property.
    • To ensure social distancing, attendees should plan to be seated at their place for the full hour. 
    • Please do not sign up or attend if you:
      • have recently had any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, shortness of breath, or loss of taste;
      • have recently been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19; or
      • have traveled, in the past two weeks, to any of the states indicated in red on the City of Philadelphia's travel guidance map.

Friendly Bible Study on Second and Fourth Sunday Evenings

Friendly Bible Study will meet on November 8 and November 22 at 7 PM via Zoom.  Have a journal and your favorite Bible translation ready.  We are reading 1st Corinthians.  More information on the Friendly Bible study method here.  The Zoom meeting is:
Meeting ID: 652 158 660

To call in by phone:
(646) 558-8656
Meeting ID: 652 158 660

Midweek Worship Opportunities

The move by most communities to online worship means there are many more opportunities for worship during the week. 
  • CHFM offers midweek worship on Tuesday mornings from 9 to 10 via Zoom. The stable link for the Zoom sessions is,  We will have waiting worship for the first 30 minutes and then we plan to read excerpts from the new edition of Faith and Practice, followed by worship sharing.  All are welcome.
  • Germantown Meeting is holding a weekly evening worship on Wednesdays at 7 PM.  We hope you’ll join us in corporate worship and hold our City and Country in the Light. Zoom link:
  • All are invited to daily meeting for worship online from Pendle Hill, 8:30-9:10 am.  The Zoom information is available on Pendle Hill's website.
  • Friends World Committee for Consultation maintains a list of links to online meetings for worship being held around the world at a variety of times throughout the week.  More information can be found here.
News and Events

Memorial Meeting for John Bieniek, November 8, 2 PM

There will be a memorial meeting for John Bieniek on Sunday, November 8, at 2:00 p.m.  Zoom link:; Meeting ID: 949 5573 0851, Passcode: Bieniek.  The telephone passcode is 5757319.

Called Meeting to Hold Our Country in the Light, November 4, 7PM

The Peace Committee and Worship Committee are holding a called zoom Meeting to hold our country in the light at 7 PM on November 4 for prayer, sharing, and worship.

Meeting ID: 969 2001 2201
Passcode: 846787

By Phone:
(929) 436-2866 US
Meeting ID: 969 2001 2201
Passcode: 846787

Caring for Friends

  • Janaki Spickard Keeler, Andrew Chiarello, and baby Benjamin need some help!  Janaki and Andrew are both working from home while caring for 6-month-old Benjamin.  Janaki has an ongoing medical condition.  They don't have family nearby and they would appreciate a little help with one or two meals a week for a while.  To sign up to deliver a meal or provide a GrubHub gift certificate for the first week of November, visit this Meal Train link.  If someone delivering a meal could tend the baby for an hour or so (dependent on weather), that, too, would be greatly appreciated -- contact Janaki directly about that possibility.
  • Our member Tee Bushnell is at home on Schoolhouse Lane recovering from double knee surgery.  Her son (who doesn't cook or drive) is helping out.  To sign up to deliver a meal or provide a GrubHub gift certificate, visit this Meal Train link.  If you can help with rides for appointments, please contact Miyo Moriuchi (717-634-0612).  Tee welcomes email messages and cards during this time.

Tuesday Time Together on Hiatus

The Tuesday Zoom & Friendly Chat has met for 6 weeks, but with limited numbers we’ve decided to take a break until January.   We encourage our community to keep connecting, especially with singles and older people.  These are hard times. If you, or someone you know, seems isolated or overly anxious, reach out, call, go for a walk,  visit a garden together... As Friends, we are all “ministers” to one another. Stay in touch, Esther & Miyo.

From the Refugee Support Working Group

  • The Refugee Support Working Group  invites you to join us for our monthly planning meetings on 4th Sundays at 12:15 PM, this month on November 22, to raise funds and awareness to support refugees. 
  • Daylight Savings Time Special:  Take Back & Give Back.  Autumn is in full swing and day light savings time is almost upon us.  On Sunday, November 1 we will take back an hour into our day, so why not give a little something back????  Give back to help Syrian refugees in Jordan ... Donate the cost of your weekend latte, your Sunday brunch, an hour of your salary … Any amount will do!  Give back to help Syrian refugees get back on their feet with UNCHR’s Lifeline program.  The Lifeline program provides monthly cash assistance to qualified refugees living in Jordanian towns and cities for daily necessities.   So easy to give back - use this link.
  • The Refugee Support Working Group is bent on fundraising for LIFELINE for Syrian refugees whilst encouraging Friends to have fun. 10 cooks within the Meeting are lined up, rolling pins at the ready, to serve both refugees and Quakers.  It's simple.  Choose your filling from the attached flyer, and send in your order to Tricia (!  Additional fillings might well be available upon request, e.g. chocolate pecan pie or chocolate chess pie, but only in limited quantities.  Have a happy and delicious Thanksgiving!!

From the Religious Education Committee

The Children's Program runs from 11 to 11:30 and is intended for children from 6 to 12, but younger children may benefit as well.  We would also encourage you to invite children from other meetings, as well as your grandchildren and other relatives no matter where they may be living.  If you have questions contact Donna Pucci at  For the first two Sundays of November, the focus is on the Beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  The Beatitudes provide children with important lessons for recognizing that those who are most quiet and humble may have the greatest gifts to share with the world.  Jon Landau will lead the program this week which will include an understanding of the nature of the Beatitudes, a short video on the Beatitudes, and a group effort to develop Beatitudes for categories of people who are the heroes of the pandemic as well as those who have suffered in the pandemic.

The Zoom information for November is:
Meeting ID: 840 7746 5315
Passcode: FDS2020

From the Peace & Social Concerns Committee

  • POWER:  Whatever happens on Election Day, we want to come together and be able to respond with resilience and care. Therefore, we have set up a Healing Session: Finding Grounding From the Inside Out on November 4 from 5-7 PM. We will all need a safe space to share what we’re feeling and release what we don’t need. To prepare for the days ahead, we will explore what self-care and collective care look like for us now.   Register for this healing session here:
  • You can also read POWER's statement on the killing of Walter Wallace Jr. on their website.

From the PIHN Committee

Thanks to all who continue to donate items for our PIHN food drive! This in spite of me forgetting to post a notice in the last bulletin or in the after-meeting announcements!  How about you? Can your family help out the PIHN families?  Non-perishable items can be dropped off at 114 Erdenheim Road, Glenside, PA 19038, between 5pm-7pm Tuesday and Thursday. Look for the pink sign in the window! The front porch will be unlocked and you can leave your items there for a contact-less donation. If these times aren't convenient, please call 215-233-4317 or send an email to to make other arrangements..

From the Worship & Ministry Committee

While the meetinghouse is closed, some may wish to gather in small groups to worship together in a Friend's home or garden. These groups might join our online worship on Zoom or worship independently. If you need support in organizing small-group worship, please contact

Shiné Yoga: Classes at the Meetinghouse

Katy Hawkins has returned home to teach socially-distanced outdoor yoga classes at the meetinghouse, Wednesday evenings 5-6:15 and Thursday mornings 11-12. All are welcome to drop in anytime - please bring a towel or a yoga mat!  Outdoor only; bathrooms accessible inside the meetinghouse.  More information can be found on Katy's website.
Opportunities Beyond CHFM

Direct Action Training

Multiple groups are offering training in non-violent direct action in preparation for potential unrest after the election.  Choose Democracy, in which both Eileen Flanagan and George Lakey are involved, is offering trainings on November 1 and November 5 at 8 PM (registration information here).  Any additional trainings scheduled after the election will be found on that that page as well.  POWER is offering a training entitled Soul Force: Preparing For Non Violent Direct Action on November 1 at 6 PM (registration information here). 

From Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

  • Fall Continuing Sessions, November 7, 10 AM - 4 PM.  Please join us virtually for a day in worshipful community together! The day will include an extended, multigenerational worship in the morning; our first ever Community Lunch around our virtual table; Youth Programs in the afternoon; followed by multigenerational worship sharing in small groups.  More information and registration here.
  • Webinar on Green Investing, November 16, 7 PM.  The PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative will present an informative webinar on "Green Investing" on Monday, Nov 16, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.  Connect by Zoom at  Presenters include our own Jeff Perkins of Friends Fiduciary Corporation as well as Ethan Birchard of Prentiss Smith and Co. and Peter Krajsa of National Energy Investment..
  • Giant Children's Meeting, Sunday, November 22, 9 AM.  Join Friends and Families from across the Yearly Meeting for a monthly religious education program on fourth Sundays this fall. It’s “giant” because everyone is invited! It’s “children’s meeting” because we’re making a space to nurture the spiritual lives and Quaker identity of young people. We hope this online community will support families and the Friends offering children’s programs in their meeting; the 9:00 start is intended to allow folks to attend worship in their own meeting later that morning.  The November meeting is on the theme of Gratitude and Gathering. More information and registration on the PYM website

From Pendle Hill

  • First Monday Lecture, What Happens Wednesday? Preparing Ourselves for the Work Ahead, November 2, 7:00 PM.  Whoever wins the presidential election, whether or not the result is contested, we know there will be much work to be done. How do we prepare when we don’t know what is coming? Our own Eileen Flanagan will explore the different possibilities and ground ourselves in what we do know – about what it will take to create a more just, sustainable, and loving world, as well as Quaker practices that keep us grounded and listening to Spirit for the times ahead.  Register on the Pendle Hill website.
  • Spirit in the Streets Salons, November 5, 12, 19, December 3, noon-1:30 PM.  How does it feel to pray while in the streets in protest? What does it feel like to listen to Spirit when there is chaos and violence around you? How can collective discernment still support our faith in action when we must make quick decisions? Explore these questions and more in four experiential salons led by Pendle Hill Education Coordinator Lina Blount. Each session will give participants the opportunity to ground in Spirit while exploring through stories, roleplay, and questions and answers. Join for one session or all four.  Information and registration at the Pendle Hill website.
  • Pendle Hill Reading Group, November 11, 6:30 PM.  Pendle Hill is launching an online reading group, hosted by our own Janaki Spickard Keeler!  We will read a mix of Pendle Hill pamphlets and other Quaker materials, gathering monthly to consider queries about the reading in a spirit of worship-sharing. In November, we will be reading our most recent Pendle Hill pamphlet, Dr. Harold Weaver’s Race, Systemic Violence, and Retrospective Justice: An African American Quaker Scholar-Activist Challenges Conventional Narratives.  Registration and information about purchasing the pamphlet are on the Pendle Hill website.

From New York Yearly Meeting

  • Quaker Parent Mutual Support Groups.  These groups will meet for six months each, roughly mid-November through mid-April. The purpose is to provide Friends who are currently parenting children with a space for mutual conversation and support. The project is supported by New York Yearly Meeting, but you do not need to be affiliated with New York Yearly Meeting to participate.  For more information or to register, click here.

Symposium on Transforming Inner-City Education

  • Conversation with Ibram X. Kendi, November 11, 5 PM.  The Gesu School, an independent Catholic school in North Philadelphia, annually hosts a Symposium, completely free and open to the public, to engage members of our community with thought leaders on important issues surrounding urban education, race, social justice, equity and racial discrimination.  Join us for this discussion with Ibram X. Kendi, bestselling author, leading antiracist voice, professor, and historian. Moderator Trina Gary will dialogue with Professor Kendi on antiracism in the context of urban education and field questions from participants.  For more information or to register, click here.
End Matter

Want a website account?  We reserve publication of a few things (e.g., the meeting directory, business meeting minutes) to a restricted area of our website. You must have a website account to see those pages. If you don’t yet have one and want one, follow the directions in this article to request one.

Looking for business meeting minutes?  If you have a website account, you can see 2020 minutes and minutes from previous years on the Meeting website.

A general description of the differences between attenders and members, and a review of the membership process, is available on our website.

Newsletters vs. bulletins
The monthly newsletter goes out by email, usually very close to the first of the month. The deadline for submissions is the 23rd of the previous month. Bulletins are shorter, though they too contain information most of which merits the attention of our whole community, and we send them to the same mailing list. Here are some guidelines for news that could qualify for a bulletin:
  • items that didn’t make the newsletter’s deadline, especially those announcing an event of interest
  • something important that arises between newsletters (e.g., a timely speaker or action; the death of a community member; a request for help)
  • a correction (if important) to an error in a newsletter or previous bulletin
  • a link to an article published elsewhere that describes an important event or action

Typically, a bulletin goes out every Thursday with information about the activities for the following Sunday.  A longer bulletin will generally go out mid-month with new information that has arrived since the newsletter came out.  

Our mailing address is:
Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting
20 E Mermaid Ln
Philadelphia, PA 19118-3505

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Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting · 20 E Mermaid Ln · Philadelphia, PA 19118-3505 · USA

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